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DCF employee charged in connection to child sex trafficking investigation

The suspect was charged with hindering prosecution and the risk of injury to a minor.

HARTFORD, Conn. — A Department of Children and Families (DCF) employee has been charged in connection to a child sex trafficking investigation.

According to the Hartford Police, they were notified of a woman at the Hamilton Street DCF office that had an active warrant for child sex trafficking-related offenses on Friday, around 4:11 p.m.

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Officers had information that confirmed the woman was in the DCF office, but the DCF staff refused to help.

While officers were investigating, the woman's social worker, Melisa Roberson, snuck the woman and her 4-year-old child out a back exit. Roberson drove her to a different location and told her the police were looking for her.

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The woman was only allowed supervised visits at the DCF office. Roberson was aware that the woman was stripped of her parental rights due to the child sexual abuse and trafficking investigation.

The DCF administration was able to convince Roberson to return to the DCF office. She was immediately taken into custody. 

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The woman also returned to the office and was taken into custody for the warrant.

The child was safely returned to their foster parents.

Roberson was charged with hindering prosecution and risk of injury to a minor.

DCF Commissioner Vannessa Dorantes said in a statement:

“Immediately upon learning of the allegations leading to the arrest of a DCF Social Worker, senior Department leaders worked cooperatively with the Hartford Police to respond swiftly to this matter.

Our administration is built upon trust - with the children and families we serve, community partners and members of the public - with whom we engage on a daily basis. We remain committed to holding ourselves accountable in transparent manner and a Human Resources investigation has commenced.

Due to the pending criminal charges and internal investigation, we are unable to comment further at this time."

The Hartford Police Special Investigations Division assisted with the ongoing investigation. 

Ashley RK Smith is an assignment desk editor at FOX61 News. She can be reached at asmith@fox61.com


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